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Gwalior Attractions

Tourist Attractions in Gwalior
The main tourist attraction in Gwalior is the Gwalior Fort and Teli-ka Mandir and Sas Bahu Mandir. The other tourist attractions in Gwalior are Man Mandir Palace and Vikramaditya Palace.


Gwalior Fort
The Gwalior Fort, situated on the top of the hill dominates the Gwalior city. The fort is situated on a high sandstone precipice about 91 m above the surrounding plain and is 2.8 km long and 200-850 m wide. In some places the cliff overhangs, in other it has been scarped to make it unscalable. The main entrance to the north comprised of a twisting, easily defended approach and the seven gates. These gates are Alamgiri, Hindola, Bhairon, Ganesh, Lakshman, Hathiapur and

Gwalior Fort Gwalior

Hawa. Out of these seven gates only five remains. The walls are 9 m high and when seen from the north present a formidable battlement. On the west is the Urwahi gorge and another well-guarded entrance. There are many tanks on the plateau and the Gwalior fort is one of the most impregnable fortress of north and central India. The first Mughal Emperor Babur also described the fort as the pearl amongst fortresses of Hind. There are 21 Jain sculptures that belong from the 7th to 15th centuries and of various sizes up to 20 m tall on the Urwahi Gate. Babur was offended by them and ordered their faces and private parts to be destroyed. But, now their faces have been repaired. Suraj Kund, where the Suraj Sen’s leprosy was cured by the saint Gwalipa is also situated inside the fort. It is a large tank and reservoir.

Teli-ka Mandir and Sas Bahu Mandir
The unique Teli-ka Mandir is about 30 m high and a Pratihara Vishnu Temple. This temple dates back to the 9th century AD and blends a number of regional styles. This temple has an interesting design, and the shape of the roof is in Dravidian style while the rest of the temple is covered with Indo-Aryan sculptures. A Garuda crowns the doorway. The Sas Bahu Mandir (Mother-in-law, Daughter-in-law temple) is also dedicated to Vishnu. This temple belongs to the 11th century. The larger of the two has an ornately carved base and four heavy pillar support the roof.

Vikramaditya Palace

The Vikramaditya Palace is located between the Man and Karan Palace. This place was built in 1516 and connected with the two palaces by narrow galleries. Inside the palace is an open hall with a domed roof. In the northern side and opposite the Dhonda Gate is the Karan Mandir, a long double storeyed building with one large room and a roof supported on two rows of pillars. To the south is a hall with a Hindu dome room.


Gujari Mahal
Within the fort are some marvels of medieval architecture. The 15th century Gujari Mahal is a monument to the love of Raja Mansingh Tomar for his Gujar queen, Mrignayani. After he had wooed and won her, so the story goes, Mrignayani demanded that he build her a separate palace with a constant water supply from the River Rai, via an aqueduct. The outer structure of the Gujari Mahal has survived in an almost total state of preservation; the interior has been converted into an

Gujari Mahal Gwalior
Archaeological Museum.

Man Mandir Palace
The Man Mandir Palace was built by Raja Man Singh between 1486 and 1517. The exterior of the palace is built of red sandstone and decorated with blue tiles, elephants, yellow ducks and peacocks. The palace is richly ornamented and architecturally interesting. This palace also won the admiration of Akbar. The walls are massive and elegant, and possess towers and atractive lattice work battlements. It is two storeys high with a further two underground floors complete with an ingenious ventilation system. In these under chambers, prisoners were tortured and killed and they were also used as a refuge when the fort was under attack. The upper rooms are arranged round two courts and are small and beautifully executed. Many of the smaller rooms off the main court were used as bedrooms. The multiple iron rings in the ceiling were used for swinging cots and hanging screens.


Lashkar means army camp which Maratha chief Daulat Rao Scindia had set up in 1809 to take control of Gwalior, to the south of the fort. The town later came to be known as Lashkar. The Jai Vilas Palace, King George Park and the chattris (memorial tombs) of the Maharajas are found in Lashkar. Jai Vilas Palace was designed by Lt. Col. Sir Michael Filose and was built in early part of the 19th century by the family of the Maharaja Scindia. This palace was completed in three years for the Maharaja Jayaji Rao who built it on borrowed English money. It is an enormous place, built in an Italian palazzo style. In the Durbar Hall, which is approached by a crystal staircase, hang the two largest chandeliers in the world. There is the largest carpet in Asia, an electrically-lit rock garden, and a silver electric train set which transported cigars and port round the dinner table. Half of the palace is still the residence of the current Maharaja, while the other part has been converted as a museum. The Muhammad Ghaus Tomb and the Tansen Tomb are also situated in this area. The Muhammad Ghaus Tomb is built in the form of a square with a hexagonal tower. The corners are surmounted by small domes, the interior of the building is enclosed on all sides by carved stone lattice screens. The Tansen Tomb is situated near the Muhammad Ghaus Tomb. Tansen was a famous musician who lived in Akbar’s time and was one of the emperor’s Nine Jewels of the Court.


Gurudwara Data Bandhi Chhod
built in the memory of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the 6th Sikh Guru who was imprisoned here by Jehangir for over two years. At the time of his release, he wanted 52 Hindu kings who were his fellow prisoners, released with him. Jehangir was very impressed with the Guru and agreed to his condition. And, finally, within the Fort complex, housed in the erstwhile barracks of the British soldiers, is Gwalior's unique gift to modern India : Scindia School. Acknowledged as one of the finest

Gurudwara Data Bandhi Chhod Gwalior

schools in India, it is only fitting that the country's young citizens receive the best educational grounding surrounded by monuments to a past which is a constant inspiration.

Jai Vilas Palace
A splendour of a different kind exists in the Jai Vilas Palace, current residence of the Scindia family. Some 35 rooms have been made into the Scindia Museum, and in these rooms, so evocative of a regal lifestyle, the past comes alive. Jai Vilas is an Italianate structure which combines the Tuscan and Corinthian architectural modes. The imposing Darbar Hall has two central chandeliers, weighing a couple of tonnes, and hung only after ten elephants had tested the strength of the roof. Ceilings picked out in gilt, heavy draperies and tapestries, fine Persian carpets, and antique furniture from France and Italy are features of these spacious rooms. Eyecatching treasures include : a silver train with cut-glass wagons which served guests as it chugged around on miniature rails on the tables; a glass cradle from Italy used for the baby Krishna each Janamashtami; silver dinner services and swords that were once worn by Aurangzeb and Shah Jehan. There are, besides, personal momentoes of the past members of the Scindia family: the jewelled slippers that belonged to Chinkoo Rani, four-poster beds, gifts from practically every country in the world, hunting trophies and portraits. The Scindia Museum offers an unparalleled glimpse into the rich culture and lifestyle of princely India.


Tansen's Tomb

The father of Hindustani classical music, the great Tansen, one of the 'nine Jewels' of Akbar's court, lies buried in Gwalior. The memorial to this great musician has a pristine simplicity about it, and is built in the early Mughal architectural style. More than a monument, the Tansen's Tomb is part of Gwalior's living cultural heritage; it is the venue of a music festival on a national scale held annually in November-December. Leading musicians of the country gather here to give performances during the festival.


Ghous Mohammed's Tomb
the sandstone mausoleum of the Afghan prince, Ghous Mohammed, also designed on early Mughal lines. Particularly, exquisite are the screens which use the pierced stone technique, as delicate as lace.

The earliest freedom fighters, Tatya Tope and the indomitable Rani of Jhansi, are commemorated in memorials in Gwalior. There are cenotaphs at major public

Ghous Mohammed's Tomb Gwalior

crossings, memorials to Scindia kings and queens. Throughout the city, there are these reminders of a proud past, of the great men and women of Gwalior who have their place in the nation's roll of honour.

Art Galleries and Museums

The Gujari Mahal Archaeological Museum houses rare antiquities, some of them dating back to the 1st century AD. Even though many of these have been defaced by the iconoclastic Mughals, their perfection of form has survived the ravages of time. Particularly worth seeing is the statue of Shalbhanjika from Gyraspur, the tree goddess, epitome of perfection in miniature. The statue is kept in the custody of the museum's curator, and can be seen on request. The museum is open every day except Monday, from 10 am to 5 pm.

The Kala Vithika is another treasure house of the arts. It remains closed on Sunday and public holidays. The Municipal Corporation Museum, which is open all days except Mondays, has a very fine natural history section. The old ancestral house of the legendry Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan has recently been converted into 'Sarod Ghar' - Museum of Music by the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Trust under the patronage and guidance of his great son and sarod maestro Ustad Amzad Ali Khan. The museum has been rebuilt keeping in mind the old traditional architecture of Gwalior and houses in it ancient instruments of the great Indian Masters of yesteryears.

Excursion from Gwalior


The old summer capital of Shivpuri is situated about 117 km. south-west of Gwalior. The road to Shivpuri passes through the Shivpuri National Park. Shivpuri is also known for the Shivpuri National Park. Shivpuri was the summer capital of the Scindia Rulers and now a famous game reserve. The dense forests of the Shivpuri National Park consists of dry deciduous forest of dhok and were the hunting grounds for tigers and elephants of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Its main mammals include nilgai, chinkara, chowsingha, sambar, cheetal and wild pig. There is also a large perennial lake. The lake attracts numerous waterbirds including migratory ducks and bar-headed geese which stay on until May. On its shores, you can see huge flocks of demoiselle cranes. The best months to visit Shivpuri National Park are from January to March. In Shivpuri there are also various tombs of the Scindia rulers. These tombs are set in formal Mughal style gardens with quiet nooks under flowering trees, interecting pathways and lit by ornamental Victorial lamps. Architecturally, they are a synthesis of Hindu and Islamic style with their Shikhara-type spires and Mughal pavilions. Near Shivpuri, there is a pleasant lake with gardens around its perimeter.


Narwar is the beautiful old capital of Gwalior state and has been made famous recently by India Tourism Development Corporation by setting up tented accommodation at this beautiful place. Narwar also has a very large and old fort.

Datia is situated about 69 km from Gwalior. The Bundela chief, Bir Singh Deo was responsible for the fortress palace at Datia. Till the 1930, Datia was always on the standard itineraries of the British Viceroys. In 1902, Datia hosted Lord Curzon. The hill-top Gobind Palace is the famous palace at Datia. This seven-storey palace awed even the British architect Lutyens who was never an admirer of Indian architecture. He described this palace as one of the most interesting buildings architecturally in the whole of India. The palace is a fabulous maze of latticed corridors, verandahs, pillared cupolas and rooms with frescoes. Once these rooms were studded with semi-precious gems. The palace is surrounded by a 17th century stone wall.


Sonagiri, the sacred Jain hill lies 3 km to the North West of Datia and is 5 km from the railway station. There are 77 Jain temples, built in rows on the hill and its slopes, and date back to the 17th century. Of these the temple dedicated to Chandranatha, the 8th of the 24 Tirthankaras, is quite a large one and the most beautiful. A large annual fair is held here in the month of Chaitra (April).


Pawaya, also known as Padmavati in ancient times is a fascinating complex of ruins, 68 km away, on the Gwalior-Jhansi road. Pawaya's ruins still bear testimony to the days when it was the capital of the Nag Kings, in 3 AD. Particularly noteworthy is the lifesize statue of Chaksha Manibhadra of 1 AD. The ruins of the medieval fort built by the Parmars and the nearby Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo temple are Pawaya's other attractions.


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